[: En]A timeless taste, cases with new shapes, dials never seen before, yet none of their creations deviate from traditional construction methods: we are talking about Akrivia, one of the independent brands with the most personality and character on the market.
Every aspect of this maison is surprising: from the well-kept and very particular timepieces to the atelier, from the manual process with which they manufacture every single piece to who they really are in everyday life, and I believe that my words show all the admiration that I have for the work of the brothers Rexhepi, Rexhep and Xhevdet, two of the kindest (and coolest !!) guys in the watchmaking scene!
A while ago I took advantage of the GTG's RedBar Switzerland, in Geneva, to take a tour of the Akrivia atelier, a promise made to me in the living room in Basel where I saw their creations live for the first time. The workshop is located in the heart of the old town, perched above Plainpalais, which, with the sun, has a certain French charm. What is surprising as soon as you find yourself in front of the atelier is its position: located on the ground floor of a beautiful building, it is almost entirely visible from the street, allowing even a simple passer-by to throw an eye into the windows and get excited by seeing a watchmaker on his workbench.
As good Italians, the first sentence that would come to mind in front of this scene is "again as it once was" and here is the beauty! Although their creations undoubtedly have an undoubtedly modern and lively taste, the spirit underlying their work is precisely that of the watchmakers who have made history and what always excites and surprises me about Akrivia is just like, in a single brand, in a only product, they coexist tradition and present in a lively and swirling way.
Each timepiece in the collection is a real child for the team, which manually works every part of the watch, alternating modern and very advanced machinery with more traditional equipment, depending on what you want to achieve, managing to have 80% of the finished product built by hand (glass and a few other components are missing). As a finishing freak then I cannot remain silent ... the apprentissage first from Patek Philippe and then by FP Journe led Recep to have an amazing mastery of the best and most sought-after finishing techniques, many of which are present in every single Akrivia timepiece and on which, in the future, I will try to create a special one.
This year the brothers started a new project, launching the Chronometre Contemporain, a watch with a classic look and very rich in details, with a chronometric certification of Besançon (one of the most difficult to obtain!) and with the name "Rexhep Rexhepi”On the dial: it is the rebirth of the Chronomètre which over the years had lost its luster and which by now represented very little.
With this reinterpretation Akrivia has instead managed to create a characteristic, elegant and captivating watch, with the complication of resetting the seconds to zero, so as to guarantee a flawless precision in adjustment and to give a reason for being to a type of timepiece now left in the maze of the past, perhaps destined to return!
I firmly believe that this maison deserves all our attention and that in the future it will be able to reserve great surprises for us as it did in the past and for this reason I will strive to bring them to Milan and make them known to our fans. After all, we must not forget that, at Akrivia, the first piece ever produced was a monopusher chronograph with tourbillon![:in]Timeless taste, perfectly modern shaped cases and a huge variety of unusual dial designs, all built and refined with the most traditional techniques: this is Akrivia, probably the brand with the strongest character and personality among the independents.
Akrivia for me is a surprise in every aspect and, after I saw one in person, I had to go through and discover everything about them, as I fell completely in love with this small brand.
I must confess that I hate calling them "brand", and that's one thing I have discussed with Rexhep Rexhepi, the founder and the head of the project, because they're not common watchmakers, they're artists and they have a very important task: preserve the essence of watchmaking and the several techniques that are disappearing as the majority of the people can't appreciate them nowadays, due to their lack of knowledge.
I met Rexhep and Xhevdet During Basel World, where I had the possibility to admire and touch their timepieces for the first time as Instagram was full of pics but it's pretty rare to see an Akrivia on a wrist in Italy !!! During their presentation held in Basel, they suggested me to come and visit their atelier and so, the day after RedBar Switzerland's GTG in Geneva, I went directly to check out this mystic place.
As a huge fan of their work I follow them on every social, where they are used to post videos of them working on a timepiece, so I was pretty impatient to see all that in real life and it was an enormous joy making a tour of the atelier with the master who told me the specific role of the all the tools I saw.
The real surprise was the atelier itself: the place is intended to be an open space fully visible from the street, where everybody can admire a watchmaker mastering his skills. It's a great way to tell the world that Akrivia does everything under the sunlight, with quality and knowledge, but it's also agood way to spread the watchmaking tradition, transmitting to people the love for that art just by showing them how good things are made.
Every timepiece from the maison is kind of a son for the Rexhepi brothers: it is almost entirely hand made in old town Geneva by the Akrivia team, fully designed by them and finished by the Masters (Rexhep and Xhevdet), who learned the best finishing skills from Patek and Journe, achieving a level of quality in terms of finissage that is rarely present in their competitors.
This year they launched a new line, the Rexhep Rexhepi Chronometre Contemporain, probably the watch I was waiting for since I first got in touch with the watchmaking industry. Even though it looks vintage it has something that can renew this type of timepieces: the dial is enamel grand-feu, full of particular details and with a great design, the watch is certified Besançon (it's very difficult to achieve that certification!) And the main complication of the watch is the reset to zero of the small seconds when you pull out the crown, in order to set the time in a very precise way, in respect of the name of Chronomètre !!!
This type of watches were very popular in the fifties but nowadays they lost their sense as precision is something we don't care much about as we take it for guaranteed. This new creation by Akrivia's atelier wants to tell the world how a Chronomètre can be a contemporary and pleasant watch, paving the road for a comeback of classy watches in the industry!
Not just as a lover of great watches but as a lover of beautiful and particular things I suggest you all to keep an eye wide open on Akrivia and their novelties as I think that they have started to leave their mark in history since their first piece ever (a monopusher chronograph with tourbillion) and they have just begun![:]